#blessed

Last week, the hashtag “onedayhh”  (one day hollywood housewife) made the rounds on Instagram, showcasing people’s “real” lives. Sure. Uh-huh. I decided to do mine here.

 

Good morning, Instagram! I like to start the day with a smile. #riseandshine #fivethirtyisn’tthatearly

It’s fine. I’m a nice enough person that I never have to be with my husband and we always are nice to each other anyways. #nfpissuchagoodbondingexperience #heavenhadbetterbeworthit #i’llstopwiththeheresynow

It’s grainy because of all of the love. There is no fighting in bed. #snuggles

School time! No one fights me about writing neatly and that cereal certainly did not end up on the floor! #homeschoolmama

Sometimes we chant in Latin and no one gets mad at me and asks to watch My Little Pony instead. #traddie

My garage isn’t sinking. You’re sinking. #denialnotjustariverinegypt

I read the Catechism and the Bible every morning and it’s never prefaced by a prayer “PLEASE DEAR LORD LET ME BE CALM TODAY PLLEEEEAAASSSEEE.” #whyisyours?

I just like all the colors and don’t need them to hide the evidence of crushing exhaustion and wine. #hahahaha

No one fights in the car on the way to my moms’ group. #siblinglove!

Okay the coffee and other people part of the day was actually just straight up awesome. I’m not playing.

Sought out a homeschool Mass with our local Catholic homeschool group and it was lovely and the kids didn’t fight over this piece of paper all through the Liturgy of the Word at all. #theyrejustgoodinchurch #dontknowwhatIdid

He was here the whole hour. Never on the floor under the pew! #mylittleboy

I love working on meaningless crap for my kids that I know they’re decide the don’t want after two seconds. Like a scarf for a toy car. #pinterestmama #crafty

Dinner time! All in one dishes are amazing! The kids can ignore the vegetables and meat together! Hahahha, I’m kidding. My kids eat everything! #homemademama #fiveaday

My secret to meal prep? A combination of planning and prepping ahead! Not Disney Jr. Not at all. #blessed

Oh well! I might as well indulge a little if it’s left! #winetime #alittlewonthurt

This is the same glass! It just…magically changed colors! I like to craft in the evenings, working on cute things for my munchkins. #scarfnotforme #itwouldmatchmyeyestho

I would never eat this in five minutes while watching an episode of the Office from ten years ago. Please. #notananimal

 

I just like the way these jars all look on my table before bed. I don’t need every single one of them to slow the relentless passage of time on my pasty Irish skin. #naturallygoodskin

My husband and I fall asleep in each other’s arms. I don’t stay awake watching Criminal Minds on a tablet until he begs me to stop the horrific noises from the show. #marriedmybestfriend #wedoeverythingtogether

Well there you have it! A totally true day in my life!

Playbook

I don’t mean to overplay the Martha Stewart thing, but I couldn’t pass up this gem from last month’s issue. Martha has a fool-proof playbook for hosting the best Thanksgiving ever.

Alas, we cannot all be Martha. Here is my Thanksgiving playbook.

Two Weeks Out:

Marvel at fact that it is November.

Buy wine.

Drink that wine.

It’s a normal week, yo.

One Week Out:

Buy simple syrup. Use in Old Fashioneds. This is still a normal week

Think about what dress you want to wear.

Make sure you have a stash of false eyelashes and your palettes are all up to date.

Argue with husband about how you need the new holiday palettes.

Sunday Before:

Half heartedly make a list for the grocery.

Make a list in your planner about how to make all the food. That makes you feel good and in control.

Plan makeup look.

Make sure sister is availabe to take your Christmas card photo. Start practicing putting children in front of you to make yourself look smaller.

Maybe call relatives and make sure they’re planning on showing up.

Monday the Week of:

Go to grocery.

Swear. A lot.

Put food away and ignore until Wednesday night.

Day Before:

Get up and forgo showering. Afterall, you’ll be working all day in the kitchen.

Decide to go back to bed with the kids and then hang out at your mom’s.

Come home, and figure you have plenty of time to nap with the kids.

Get up after nap. Run around like a crazy person.

Swear some more.

Shove pizza at husband, children. BECAUSE IT’S THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING AND I’M BUSY.

Husband inquires about why you’re watching Dateline on your tablet while cooking.

BECAUSE IT’S THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING AND I’M BUSY.

Set table. Yell at children NOT TO TOUCH ANYTHING SO HELP ME GOD.

Work until like midnight and collapse into bed. Just in time to get up and go to all the families.

Day of:

Stagger through Mass and husband’s family, mentally running through a list of all the things you have to do.

Drink a ton of coffee.

Get home. Little jittery.

Figure you should start drinking wine.

That calms you down.

Run around like a crazy person.

Look at silver that you forgot to polish. Meh, whatever. No one has silver anymore. They don’t anticipate it being clean too.

Make sure ham is cooked. Don’t waste time fooling around with turkey. That’s just a recipe for disaster.

Have husband make you a seasonal drink.

Ahhh. There’s the spirit.

Welcome guests lovingly into home. From the couch where you’ve collapsed from too much almost Christmas cheer.

Knit

I’m an unconventional knitter. I learned when I was like 11 or 12 from my mom and a bunch of old ladies in an abandoned woolen mill, where we’d gather every week in a room that for some reason had booths and knit. My brother and sister and I would sit at one booth- John doing something, Colleen and I both working on scarves for our American Girl dolls, and my mom and her septuagenarian friends would work on more advanced projects (like scarves for real people) at another booth.

If there was a moment in my life that you could most accurately hashtag “homeschooled,” it would probably be that one.

Also, I pretty much only learned to cast on and do the garter stitch in a row. So I could make squares AND rectangles, guys. Only one color. I hadn’t figured out stranding or even how to change skeins yet. Or binding off. I had to give my completed “projects” to my mom to finish them for me. But hey. My dolls were never cold again.

Anyway, I loved those mornings. It was before my mom was sick, before we started thinking about going back to school, before all of that. We had to stop going abruptly because of the first of the shots across the bow of our lives that signaled GUYS IT’S NOT 1999 ANYMORE, but anyway.

(I know 1999 wasn’t a picnic either for us. But it’s all hazy and cozy in my memory.)

I love the physicality of knitting. I picked it up again a few years ago because I watch a lot of TV with my husband and I need to be doing something while I’m doing that and my preferred method of hand occupation is eating or drinking but, well, I like being able to fit through doors and having a liver. So knitting! Thanks to google, I figured out most of the other things I was supposed to know how to do.

But none of them came easily. I couldn’t imagine why. I’d picked up knitting perfectly easily when I was little, and even watching knitting videos on YouTube- it just wasn’t the way I held the yarn. And so the stitches didn’t really make sense to me. I figured I was doing it wrong. COULD THOSE LADIES IN THE ABANDONED MILL HAVE LIED TO ME????

So last night I was researching fair isle patterns because Squeaks wants a blanket for her doll that is pink and white. And, like every time I’d researched stuff before, both English/American style and continental style came up. Well, obviously I knit English, because everyone does that and I’m right handed and continental is crazy hard and fast and whatever. But maybe it would help me learn the other stitches and techniques that I want to incorporate into my own little Just Say No to Alcoholism crafting. So I clicked on the link.

And guys….I learned how to knit continental style. I literally hold the yarn in a different hand than every person I’ve always tried to emulate. I thought I was doing it wrong, that it was just comfortable and because I LEARNED IN AN ABANDONED MILL I just did what was comfy and made the stitches.

But no! I’m not wrong! I’m just European.

This is gonna revolutionize my doll scarves, guys.

Image via pexels.com

Key to My Heart

You may have heard that Amazon has announced Amazon Key- a service in which you trust an Amazon person to roll up to your house in an unmarked van, let themselves into your house, and probably not murder you.

I read an article that said, “Let’s not be coy. You know you’re going to let them do it.”

Yeah. Probably.

I mean, I started with trusting them with my credit card info. Which, ten years ago, was a big deal. Then I trusted them not to damage my Clearblue Sticks. Which, when you have anxiety, is a big deal. And now I trust them not to poison my food or give me rotten meat or whatever with Prime Now, which is kind of a big deal to the last generation to grow up being afraid of candy from strangers.

(Yesterday, concerned I would have to put on real pants before trick or treat this weekend, I summoned a stranger with my phone to bring me candy. I know.)

So yeah, as creepy as it sounds to allow Amazon to just literally let themselves in your front door while YOU ARE NOT AT HOME, I’m probably like three weeks away from signing up.

That got me thinking- what else would I like to outsource to Amazon?

Childcare- If I could select the number of hours I’d need a babysitter and one would show up? And then when she spent the night watching my TV and not cleaning up after dinner I could just complain to Amazon and they’d comp me for the night? YAAASSS.

They probably wouldn’t hire ALL child molesters. Right?

Prescription Drugs- Okay so I actually have an online prescription drug service, and I usually refuse to use it because I like to vet my suppliers myself. So I can hear my husband rolling his eyes from here. But get this- I wouldn’t need a doctor to renew. Amazon would have lots of little doctors that they employ who would look at my records and be like “Um yeah, lady needs the Prozac she’s been on since the beginning of time. Just fill it.” No dragging children to the doctor for her to weigh and look judgmentally at me. How awesome would that be?

Other doctor-type things- Ladies, I’m thinking yearly exams here. If I could either just send in a kit (I do NFP- I know where my cervix is, thanks) or arrange a house call through Amazon? Oh my gosh. Think of the time it would free up. And you’d be a lot comfier in your house, am I right?

Confession- I’d like to summon a priest so I never had to leave my house. And there would have to be pick a priest options because I don’t like confessing to the same one more than once. I’m a little weird.

(Not weird like in what I’m confessing. That’s pretty boring, I think. But I just find the whole experience uncomfortable. Wonderful. But uncomfortable.)

Waxing- Enough said.

Haircuts- If I could get my hair cut without figuring out childcare? I’d…well, have much better hair.

Clothing- Oh wait, I already do this.

What would you outsource?

 

Heroine Addict

I recently finished  Samantha Ellis’ How to Be a Heroine. I liked it, she’s a fantastic writer, and I loved following her along her journey. She’s a little whiny at times- I mean, honestly. Not every female character is written to be a completely flawless role model for you. That’s not the point of writing women. I loved her depiction of growing up as an Iraqi Jewish girl in London and all the sexual and ethnic tensions that come with that.

Growing up as the treasured daughter of Whitey McWhiterson and his legally and sacramentally bound wife in Safe Little Haven, USA, I had quite a different upbringing. But I still read a ton, and I still identified with the women I read about, and had my share of heroine-lust throughout the years. It was fun to see, like Ellis, how these women hold up under further scrutiny.

Nancy Drew- ages 7-9

Nancy Drew was my first girl love. I devoured those books. I wanted to be just like her. I wanted titian hair (I convinced myself it was close to the ashy auburn I had in real life) and while I didn’t want MY mom to die, I certainly admired the freedom that great tragedy apparently lends you. I loved Nancy. I saw nothing unbelievable in any of those books, just amazing wonderful stories about an amazing wonderful woman.

Of course, I’ve read them again. As a grown-up. And honestly guys, they’re all the same book. Like. For serious. With different weapons. I realize now that there was no reason for her to be doing LITERALLY anything she does in those books, and for someone with no formal education and a freaking housekeeper she knew how to do literally everything.

And she was kind of a jerk to Bess about her body. Which as a mom with a mom bod I DON’T APPRECIATE NANCY.

I still love her.

Saddle Club Girls- ages 9-13

Oh these girls. Rich, happy, literally nothing touches them. I wanted to be all three of them at different times, depending on what actual crap was going on in my life. I mean, Carole’s mom is dead and presumably that’s hard to handle, but would you know it? Nope. Good ole Col. Whatever His Name Was is the perfect chaste widower dad and Carole grows up without an adoptive mother desperately googling “CHILD OCD SPECIALISTS IN *AREA*”

Oh sorry. Too close?

Cathy Earnshaw- age 12

I read Wuthering Heights for the first time when I was 12, sitting on the floor in my grandpa’s hospital room. I was still pretty unsure of what the actual mechanics of sex were, but it sounded a lot like what Cathy and Heathcliff wanted to get up to in that big old gothic mansion. And that sounded like fun.

In most of these fantasies, the role of Heathcliff was played by my grandfather’s middle aged Jewish cardiologist, a dude named Leonard.

It was a pretty boring time in my actual life.

As an adult, I’m like dear Lord guys, GET OVER YOURSELVES. First of all. Love is not that grand. It’s wonderful. And amazing. BUT NO ONE LITERALLY DIES OF A BROKEN HEART. Sheesh. Go clean something or I don’t know, TRY LOVING YOUR ACTUAL SPOUSES.

(And hey, if my husband ever asks why I was so dead set on staying at a castle on our honeymoon it definitely was not because of this book. Not. At all.)

Betsy Ray, age 9-whenever I die.

I read the Betsy Tacy books in reverse order- I found Betsy’s Wedding in a resale bin at the library and read it when I was like nine or ten. And then I fell in love with it and went back and read all of them and THEY ARE AMAZING GUYS GO GET THEM FOR YOUR CHILDREN. I have like three copies of each book.

But it’s the Betsy from Betsy’s Wedding that speaks to me the most, still. She’s honest and in love but not flighty and she and Joe make a real life together. And (most importantly I think) she admits when she’s being obnoxious as I tend to be obnoxious to my husband and need help admitting it. I’m suuuuper bad at admitting it. But Betsy’s not. She goes to church and is like, “All right God. Help me out here. I’m not being the best wife I can be and I need help.” And guess what? He helps her! Because He’s God. And that’s what He does. And THESE BOOKS SERIOUSLY GO BUY THEM.

As a mother, and someone who is not necessarily a writer but struggles with feeling like she has let all of herself go in the process of getting married and having children, watching Betsy struggle with that as well but not shirt her place int eh family is inspiring.

Scarlett O’Hara, age 12

This was my brief, not-so-flattering phase where I walked around saying things like “I don’t know why everyone whined about slavery.”

(Editor’s Note: I understand completely why everyone abhorred, not whined about, slavery.)

I fell hard for Book Rhett and hated Movie Rhett though so I had trouble reading it again after the initial one. I did keep a list of dirty parts written on a page and tucked in my copy. Because I was a little pervert apparently.

Now, I see Scarlett as she is- spoiled, manipulative, and completely unaware of her dignity as a woman. But with a seventeen-inch waist.

The Second Mrs. DeWinter, age 15

Guys, I loved Rebecca. Another English country manor on the moors where people moped around and loved inappropriate people and had sex in four-poster beds…huh, teenage Kathleen was a little weird, I’m starting to realize now.

Anyway. The Second Mrs. DeWinter is married to an older guy whose wife died tragically and she was young and pretty and sexy and perfect and dead so she gets to stay that way. And, you know, we get to know her name.

#2 mopes through the book, unmoved basically even by admissions of murder and tries to be like Rebecca and even lets her maid dress her up like Rebecca for a party which at the time I thought was tragic, not weird.

(It’s weird, guys.)

I read it over and over again for years until I met a widower and realized I was going to marry him but decided I wanted my children to know my real name. I know, selfish.

Also, you need a lot of chutzpah in that situation. #2 had negative chutzpah. She was a wet, whiny blanket. In fact, I have so many thoughts about this that I think I’m going to read my copy again and blog it. So get excited.

What about now, you ask? These were all fifteen years ago. You’re thirty now, Kathleen. Married, two kids, established in your community. Who are your heroines now?

Easy. My mom. The Blessed Mother. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. My faithful and loving friends. My sister. My daughter.

They really have it figured out. None of those ladies (except Betsy) really did.

Even if there is way less mansion sex in real life.

(And by less I mean none. No mansion sex.)

(It’s okay. A real, true, life-giving marriage is even better.)

Camping. With wine.

That is my Taco Bell face too.

We found Crunchy in time to come along!

This is how I like to camp. Wine and cheese.

 

 

Other people took care of my kids basically and I knit and read like three books.

 

 

Oops.

The best we could do.

Sometimes he listens to me.

He enjoyed stomping around in my boots.

Fishing in 20 mph winds and 45 degree weather. So much fun.

That’s how I feel about that.

Camper snuggles.

Guys. Our power went out and so we didn’t have any water and I still did my makeup. Bam.

It was a gorgeous weekend.

Kathleen Pressure Cooks, Part II

So week two with my pressure cooker is almost wrapped up, and I have written this article like six times, all either I LOVE THIS AND IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE or I HATE THIS AND PEOPLE ARE STUPID.


Because I actually am not getting behind it for actual recipes and cooking actual dinners. It does cut down on cooking time. But cooking time is not that difficult. I can go do something else while it’s cooking. I need someone to keep all the prep and getting ready and all the…well, cooking part of cooking away from me.

Like a slow cooker.

But I digress.

So this week I decided to try two dump recipes (a spaghetti with meat sauce and king ranch chicken), and some basics- baked chicken, hard boiled eggs, and baked potatoes.

The dump recipes were both really good. They’re located here and here. I preferred the spaghetti, and it was a hit with the kids too.

The basics were awesome. I dumped a bag of frozen chicken in there with some broth and salt and pepper and 15 minutes of cooking later (so like half an hour total) they were done. That was awesome. Baked potatoes were about 45 minutes total, which is also pretty cool. I personally can’t stand hard boiled eggs but Squeaks loves them. They were done in five minutes in a steamer basket, and the shells came right off every time. That was amazing.


Because you don’t know stress until you’re arguing with a seven-year-old about how those little white pieces are supposed to be there.


Next week I’m trying to adapt recipes- some of my go-to ones that are already super easy.

30 for 30

30 Things I Did On my 30th Birthday:

1.) Got up at 12 am to check on Buddy’s breathing.

2.) Got up at 1 am to check on Buddy’s breathing.

3.) Got up at 2 am to check on Buddy’s breathing.

4.) Slept through 3 am check.

5.) Woke at 3:15, ran crazily into Buddy’s room, expecting to find him dead.

6.) Found him perfectly happy and breathing normally.

7.) Figured it had been eight hours since he’d had a breathing treatment, and I could go to bed.

8.) Mumbled something about watching your tablet to Squeaks when she came in at 7:30.

9.) Slept a merciful four hours or so until Buddy got up for good at 8:30. (Which, by the way, is super late for him. I mean, I sleep trained, but even I can’t manage that.

10.) Kissed my husband good morning over two children and thanked him for his birthday wishes and his assurances that he will always find me attractive no matter what age I am.

11.) Fell back asleep.

12.) Got up, and drank coffee by myself.

13.) Read a lovely note from my husband and got a beautiful gift from Colonial Williamsburg.

14.) Read a book. ALL  BY MYSELF.

15.) Went out to lunch with my family.

16.) Discovered the Silver Spring House had seriously gone downhill.

17.) Meh, it’s still a burger.

18.) Came home and TOOK A NAP WITHOUT HAVING TO PUT BUDDY TO BED. BUZZ DID THAT. HE DID. IT WAS AMAZING.

19.) Napped. Hard. All afternoon.

20.) Woke up in a puddle of my own spit.

21.) Went to my parents’ house for pizza and lemon box cake.

22.) Got even more presents. I know. I’m pretty lucky.

23.) Drank old fashioneds all night and it was similarly amazing.

24.) Came home and put the kids to bed and they were nice to me kind of for a change.

25.) Watched a Downton Abbey episode.

26.) Waxed nostalgic about the Anna/Bates drama.

27.) Used like eight different kinds of moisturizer because I’m thirty, yo.

28.) Checked Buddy again. Still breathing. Whew.

29.) Checked Squeaks, because then I worried that my obsessive asthma monitoring of Buddy was somehow going to lead to her getting something deadly and then tragedy ensues. She was fine. Whew.

30.) Passed out next to my super sweet husband in my dream house with only a minimum of gray hair that I can’t even really tell because I have pretty light hair anyway.

A pretty good day.

Instant Love

Guys, I’ve been cheating.

Not on my spouse. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

(And I love him and that whole sacramental covenant stuff.)

No, I’ve been cheating…on my crock pot.

(That, by the way, is the most middle-aged soccer mom sentence I’ve ever written. I’m going to start addressing other women as Mamas! soon. Good Lord.)

I love my crock pot. I got one when I got married and have used it pretty much constantly since then- at least once a week. I love the crock pot because it allows me to make dinner without having to think about it. I refuse to use any recipe that involves anything more than dumping frozen and or boxed ingredients into the (lined- I’m not cleaning that up) pot and starting it. Sometimes I’ll chop a vegetable.

Maybe.

But lately I’ve heard tell of a new siren, something called an Instant Pot. Which I  can’t afford.

BUT! I did get a cheap new in box pressure cooker on a facebook buy, sell, trade site for TWENTY DOLLARS HOLLA ATCHA GIRL.

So I’m psyched. The crock pot is amazing for me, but there are days when I forget or don’t feel like chopping and preparing at crack thirty when I get up before the kids. And some days I haven’t grocery shopped yet so I don’t even physically have the stuff here to dump into the crock pot. The pressure cooker should fix days like that. Since apparently you can cook pheasant under glass in like twenty minutes. (Never mind that I couldn’t find a pheasant at a butchers in under twenty minutes.)

I’m also reaching the end of a menu planning cycle and I’ve decided to go all in, y’all. I am going to be all pressure cooker, all the time. A marathon if you will.

But with less running and more pasta cooked in it’s own juices.

That’s my kind of marathon.

So hit me up- what are your best Instant Pot or pressure cooker recipes?

Things That Keep Me Up At Night

I have trouble sleeping. It hasn’t always been this way, before Buddy came I could pass out with the best of them. After Buddy, well, let’s just say I discovered the joys of Unisom. And now that I’ve weaned myself off of that (not for any reason like it was good for my body, but rather because it was making NyQuil less effective and I really need to keep a NyQuil shot in my back pocket in case of colds, you guys. BECAUSE CHILDREN.) it’s back to insomnia.

***

“I need to go to the store tomorrow. Ugh. I  hate going to the store with the kids. I hate going to the store period. I want to buy stuff. I want to buy waay more stuff than we can afford. I wonder how much money I spent on Gwynnie Bee this month.

Hmm. I could check.

Nope, you’re not supposed to use your phone before bed. Blue light or something.

Need to go to the library too. Don’t have time to do a real library trip with the kids, so they’ll be super cranky. Yay.

I wonder if I read to them enough. I know Squeaks reads all the time, but does Buddy get shortchanged? I mean, he does speak in a British accent from all of his Netflix shows.

Does he watch too much Sarah and Duck?

He pronounces “shallots” “shal-LOTS” now. Ugh, I’m a horrible mother.

What about their other subjects. I’m probably not doing enough. I mean, how am I going to teach her division this year? I hated division.

We’re going to fight so much. I hate fighting with her. I expected fighting when she was a teeanger and realized how quickly I married her dad, but not now.

Ugh, did I marry her dad too quickly? Did I completely mess her up?

What about religion. I mean, that’s the most important thing. Division won’t matter if we’re all rotting in hell because I’m a horrible mother.

I should say the rosary with them more often. That’s like the thing that people say kept their kids Catholic. But SO MUCH FIGHTING.

And I mean what does this matter if there’s a schism and then I have to probably buy new materials anyway so whatever, not worth worrying.

Oh God. What if there’s a schism?

No, no, not my problem. Not my monkeys. The gates of hell shall not prevail and all that.

I feel like I’m forgetting something. I wrote down Irish dancing on the calendar. I can’t believe we’re an Irish dancing family now. Ugh. I hate having obligations. I just want to have them be little and nap and cuddle.

Maybe you should have another baby then.

NO NO BABY RIGHT NOW.

But…

NO YOU ARE STILL CRAZY. YOU ARE STILL LYING AWAKE AT NIGHT WORRYING ABOUT HOW BUDDY PRONOUNCES VEGETABLE NAMES.

Well yeah okay. But then I’d have someone that wasn’t taking lessons and shit.

Yes, but you’d have to bring them to the lessons. Squeaks isn’t going to get younger because you have another kid.

True.

GYMNASTICS.

I forgot to sign Buddy up for gymnastics. I’ll bet they’re full. I promised him. I know he doesn’t remember but I feel badly. He’s being raised by a cartoon duck.

And Sarah.

Meh, I didn’t really want to take him anyway. And I’ll bet he’d have to be potty-trained for the next level.

Seriously. He needs to be potty trained.

But he’s not ready. I know but he should be. That’s stupid, kids should not do anything they’re not ready for. I KNOW BUT SOCIETY.

Honestly, schism is less concerning than my kid’s diapers. Those are HORRIFYING.

Maybe I should just say the rosary and that will help me fall asleep.

But I should say it tomorrow with the kids too. So they don’t leave the Church.

Okay. Good plan. Grocery, library, rosary. Then nap.

Oh goodness, then a nap.

Wait. Do I have dinner planned?

***

The struggle. It is real. And insane. And kind of funny.